We’re continuing our series of articles in The Changing Face of Hospital Radio this week by spotlighting Radio West Fife in Dunfermline.
The station is one of Scotland’s oldest hospital radios as the team started broadcasting from a shed in the grounds of West Fife Hospital in September 1953. Now, Radio West Fife broadcasts seven days a week to the Queen Margaret Hospital. Their output is varied from sports programming, to diverse music to religious programming.
Radio West Fife was originally going to be spotlighted on this section because when I first made contact with the station, they were preparing to launch an online service for the station. They had been running test streams for the past couple of months and having problems with line stability from BT and the training of volunteers.
David Fortune, the Chairperson at Radio West Fife, gave me this response when I asked how much preparation had gone into launching the online stream.
David’s response clearly shows that in order to achieve change at a community radio station, there has to be a foundation of a hard working team of volunteers. The online service has now launched and can be heard here. As expanding the service online seems to be an increasingly common step for hospital radios, I asked David why Radio West Fife chose to launch their online service.
Radio West Fife are clearly diversifying their service, whilst keeping their patients at the forefront of their broadcasting service. However, their dedication to expanding their station became even clearer, when David told me in March that in the three months between Christmas and Spring, Radio West Fife had formed a ‘hybrid’ hospital and community radio station. But would this move distract the station’s focus away from their patients at Queen Margaret’s Hospital?
In three months, Radio West Fife has launched an online stream and formed a hybrid hospital and community radio service so surely the future is bright for the station. David certainly seemed confident that the technical advances would continue.
The future is bright for Radio West Fife as they show that hospital radios can be at the centre of technological advancement. With the launch of their Android App, the formation of a hybrid hospital and community station and a successful online stream, Radio West Fife are a shining example of The Changing Face of Hospital Radio.